Beijing | China prepares Friday for a small unmanned robot to land on Mars, a particularly delicate operation that testifies to Beijing’s bold space ambitions.
Amid diplomatic and technical rivalries with the United States, the Asian giant launched an investigation into “Tianwen-1” in July last year.
It took seven months to travel the 55 million kilometers separated from the Red Planet – 1,400 times worldwide.
The probe, which orbited Mars in February, is designed to have three components, including a lander, to be launched in the next few hours.
The module should allow the remote-controlled robot, “Jurong” (fire god in Chinese mythology), to come out to analyze the surface.
No exact schedule has been announced from the official source. The Chinese space agency (CNSA) has stated a possible window between mid-May and June.
The spec speculations were alive on Friday after a leading space travel expert announced that an unmanned robot would touch Mars on Saturday morning.
Chief Ye Pigeon expects the lunar exploration program to land at 7:11 a.m. Saturday Beijing time (11:11 pm GMT Friday), according to comments reported by the media on Friday and a meeting the day before. .
“Jurong” had to work for three months.
In the event of a successful landing, it will be possible to study the atmosphere of Mars and analyze the composition of the rocks.
Landing on the Red Planet is very difficult and many European, Soviet and American missions have failed in the past.
The “Tianwen-1” mission sent the first image of Mars in February: a black and white photo showing landforms such as the Schiaparelli crater and the Wallace Marineris Canyon system.